At least 21 people were injured Friday night in three separate shootings near the Milwaukee entertainment district, where thousands of people had been watching the Bucks play the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. the NBA. None of the injuries from the shooting are believed to be life-threatening, authorities said.
The first shooting occurred around 9:10 p.m. local time near the Deer District, an entertainment district with numerous bars and restaurants where large crowds often gather to watch major sporting events. The Milwaukee Fire Department said authorities transported two people, a 30-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl, and a third person drove to a hospital.
A 29-year-old male of interest is in custody and a weapon was recovered.
Just over an hour later, a nearby gunshot wounded a 20-year-old man. No one has been arrested, police said.
And around 11:09 p.m., 17 people were injured in a third shooting. Ten people were taken into custody, including five who were injured, and ten weapons were recovered, Milwaukee Police Department Deputy Chief Nicole Waldner said Saturday afternoon at a news conference.
There was no immediate indication if the shootings were related or involved fans watching the game.
The Bucks said in a statement Friday night that there were no shootings inside the Deer District, where an estimated 11,000 fans who were prevented from entering the stadium gathered to watch the game.
Mayor Cavalier Johnson imposed a curfew for anyone under the age of 21 on Saturday and Sunday nights from 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. in a limited emergency order following the shooting. The curfew covers the city’s entertainment district, and violators can be subject to tickets and towing, he said.
“To those who were injured last night, I hope for a quick and speedy recovery,” Johnson said. “You came here to have fun, to have a good time in our city and people should be able to do that downtown or anywhere else in Milwaukee and I want to keep that happening.”
Bill Reinemann, a parking attendant at a lot adjacent to the Deer District, said he heard gunshots but didn’t see anyone get shot or see the shooter during the earlier shooting.
“It sounded like six or eight shots,” he said. “It was close”.
After the shots were fired, dozens of fans began running into the Deer District, he said.
Reinemann, who has worked the lot for 18 years, remained at his post even as fearful Bucks fans ran past him.
“I sat in my chair here the whole time,” he said.
“The incident took place outside of the Deer District area. We direct all questions to the Milwaukee Police Department,” Bucks spokesman Barry Baum said.
Of Milwaukee’s 193 murders in 2021, 180 were with firearms. Another 873 people were injured in shootings, according to police data.
This year, the pace is even worse. Milwaukee has already recorded 77 murders, a 40% increase from the same period in 2021. The number of non-fatal shootings this year is 264, down two from the same period a year ago.
The mayor did not cite any plans to ban parties downtown to watch Game 7 on Sunday afternoon. Although the game is in Boston, thousands of fans often congregate downtown to watch big-screen TVs in the Deer District.
He called for anyone with information to contact the Milwaukee Police Department.
“If someone did that to your family, then you would want someone to stand up and say something on behalf of your family as well,” he said. “So we all have to be in the game on this. It’s not just the police. It can’t be just the police. We’re all together.”